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British PM rules out new Heathrow runway before 2015

Published on Sep 5, 2012 8:50 PM
A British Airways jets arrives over the top of houses to land at Heathrow Airport in west London on Aug 28, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed Wednesday his government will not build a new runway at Heathrow airport before its term ends, but did not rule out doing so were his party returned to power.

The issue has arisen after Mr Cameron sacked his transport minister - a leading opponent of a third runway at one of the world's busiest airports - in a reshuffle of his coalition cabinet on Tuesday.

"While I do believe we need to establish a form of review that will bring parties together and make a decision about airport capacity, I will not be breaking my manifesto pledge," he told parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Cameron's centre-right Conservative Party had promised in its manifesto for elections in May 2010 that it would not expand Heathrow, due to opposition from local residents who say it would make the noise problem even worse. But his comment pointedly refused to rule out a new runway should the Conservatives return to power after the next general election, which is due in May 2015.

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